Update: Denon and Marantz AV Receivers Play 4K/120Hz After All
As we reported back in October, early reports on the new Xbox Series X consoles stated that the latest generation of Denon and Marantz AV receivers seemingly couldn't live up to their promise of passing 4K video at 120Hz frame rates through their HDMI ports.
Sound United, which owns the Denon and Marantz brands, initially acknowledged the issues. Since then, though, the company has been doing extensive testing of all three of the 4K/120-capable sources now available in the marketplace and shared some welcome news with StereoNET today.
According to its tests, carried out using one of Denon's new AVR-X2700s, the latest generation of Marantz and Denon AVRs actually can, after all, pass 4K 120Hz through their 8K-capable HDMI port from both the Sony PS5 games console and, more surprisingly, the Nvidia RTX 30 graphics cards.
It was speculated when news of the AVR 4K/120 issues first broke that while the PS5 might indeed work with the HDMI chipsets that the new receivers were using, the Nvidia RTX 30 cards would not. So hearing now that Sound United believes both 4K/120 sources work fine with its AVRs is excellent news.
Sound United's engineers achieved 4K/120 passthrough success with all the following graphics formats: RGB 8-bit, RGB 10-bit, YCbCr420 8-bit, YCbCr420 10-bit, and YCbCr420 12-bit. The only option that wouldn't work was RGB 12-bit - as you would expect, given that the AVR's 4K/120 HDMI ports are designed to handle 40Gbps data rates, rather than the 48Gbps required for 12-bit RGB at 4K/120Hz. Which seems fair enough given that no 12-bit consumer displays currently exist.
Sound United has even prepared a video to help gamers make sure they set their system up correctly to achieve optimum performance.
There is still an issue, Sound United confirms, with passing 4K at 120Hz from the Xbox Series X console through the latest Denon and Marantz receivers. The company tells us, though, that attempts to find a solution for Series X owners are 'progressing nicely', and promises to share further developments on this when it can. In the meantime, the company suggests a couple of workarounds for the issues in this video.
I’ve spent the past 25 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology. In that time I’m fairly confident that I’ve reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.